'IT raids reveal Rs 1430 cr tax evasion by Sasikala kin, associates'

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Chennai: After Income Tax officials raided the residences and offices of the Sasikala clan, the jailed and sidelined AIADMK general secretary's nephew Vivek Jayaraman, in a statement to the media on Tuesday, said that while searches have been happening in his house for five days, he has answered all the questions of the I-T officials.

"We have seized Rs 7 crore in cash, and gold jewellery worth around Rs 5 crore", the senior tax official was quoted as saying by a news agency on the condition of anonymity.

The search operations resumed on Monday after it was temporarily called off on Sunday.

He said the department waited for individuals and companies associated with Sasikala to file their tax returns for the last fiscal, adding that searches were carried out to detect tax evasion based on the filings and the data with the Income Tax Department. "The AIADMK's Karnataka unit leader Pugalendhi sought time to appear before us in response to our summons", the official told The Hindu.

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Officials have aided 10 "assessee groups" at 187 locations across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and Delhi over suspected tax evasion.

The official said once it is ascertained that the proceeds are not accounted for then the bank accounts will be looked into.

To a question on the nature of undisclosed income, he said this relates to unexplained cash and unexplained cash introduced for acquiring several businesses. The issue of shell companies was a separate matter, he said, but did not elaborate.

The raids began on Thursday with a team of around 1,800 IT officials simultaneously raiding 187 locations belonging to relatives of Sasikala - who is now lodged in the Parapana Agrahara central jail, her nephew TTV Dinakaran and their business associates in several cities.

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However, the I-T officials have denied giving any confirmation above reports and have said that they will give detailed information of the raids only after completing the five-day search.

Jayalalithaa used to stay twice a year in the Kodanadu Bungalow, documents of which were allegedly in the custody of Dhinakaran or some of his relatives after her death.

Many shell companies have also been identified by the I-T officials.

According to reports, besides diamond jewellery, six Rolex watches were found in a women's hostel belonging to Sasikala's brother Dhivaharan.

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